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Publication numberUS5935019 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/931,269
Publication dateAug 10, 1999
Filing dateSep 16, 1997
Priority dateSep 20, 1996
Fee statusLapsed
Also published asUS6033321, US6203448
Publication number08931269, 931269, US 5935019 A, US 5935019A, US-A-5935019, US5935019 A, US5935019A
InventorsShinji Yamamoto
Original AssigneeThe Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Metallic hollow golf club head
US 5935019 A
Abstract
A metallic hollow golf club head comprising a sole plate molded from a light metal and formed with a fitting hole, and a weight of a heavy metal press-fitted into the fitting hole and fixed solidly to the sole plate. Also disclosed is a metallic hollow golf club head comprising a sole plate molded from a light metal and formed with a fitting hole, and a weighted structure comprising a weight of a heavy metal press-fitted into a ring-shaped spacer of the same light metal as the sole plate, the weighted structure being fitted into the fitting hole, and the ring-shaped spacer and the sole plate being welded together. Also disclosed is metallic hollow golf club head comprising a sole plate molded from a light metal and formed with a fitting hole, and a weighted structure comprising a weight of a heavy metal wrapped with a belt-shaped spacer of the same light metal as the sole plate, said weighted structure being fitted into the fitting hole, and the belt-shaped spacer and the sole plate being welded together.
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Claims(8)
What is claimed is:
1. A metallic hollow golf club head comprising a sole plate molded from a light metal and having a fitting hole, and a weight of a heavy metal press-fitted into said fitting hole and fixed solidly to said sole plate, wherein a through hole is provided passing through both said sole plate and said weight and a rivet extends through said through hole, said rivet being compressed in an axial direction and expanded in a diametrical direction thereof, thereby press-welding said rivet and said weight together.
2. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 1, wherein a countersink is provided in said sole plate and a head of said rivet is inserted into said countersink, further comprising a washer ring formed from a metal softer than metals of said rivet and said sole plate between a bottom of said countersink and the head of said rivet.
3. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 1, wherein said fitting hole is a recess in an inner surface of said sole plate.
4. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 3, wherein said fitting hole and at least a lower part of the weight have the same shape.
5. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 4 wherein said shapes of said weight and said fitting hole are circular.
6. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 4 wherein said shapes of said weight and said fitting hole are rectangular.
7. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 1, wherein said light metal of said sole plate is a metal selected from the group consisting of titanium and titanium alloy.
8. The metallic hollow golf club head of claim 1, wherein said heavy metal of said weight is a metal having a specific gravity of 10 or more and selected from the group consisting of tungsten, tantalum, brass, copper, copper alloy, gold and platinum.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a structure for securing a weight to a metallic hollow golf club head and more particularly to a metallic hollow golf club head in which a weight formed from a different type of metal to a sole plate on the main body of the club head formed from titanium or titanium alloy can be firmly secured thereto.

In recent years, a hollow golf club head consisting of the light metal titanium or titanium alloy has attracted considerable attention due to its superior driving distance capacity. Since this hollow golf club head is made from light metal, a weight consisting of metal having a large specific gravity is secured to the inner surface of the sole plate in order to lower the center of gravity and increase the moment of inertia.

Generally, however, it is difficult to weld together metals of different types, and especially difficult when one of the metals is titanium or a titanium alloy. Consequently, when the sole plate and the weight consist of metals of different types such as in the above-mentioned hollow golf club head, there has been a problem of insufficient strength in the welded joint.

A conventional countermeasure against this problem was disclosed in Japanese patent application Kokai publication No. 6-296716 which proposed a method of securing a weight to the sole plate using a screw. However, this type of securing method has the disadvantage that when the head is used as a golf club head, vibration resulting from striking the ball or making contact with the ground produces unpleasant sounds and causes looseness.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 15, a securing method has been proposed wherein the weight 4 is fitted to the sole plate 2 by means of a dovetail groove. However, this method has the disadvantage that the high-precision manufacturing processing required is time-consuming and increases costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore the object of the present invention to provide a metallic hollow golf club head in which a weight formed from metal can be firmly secured to a sole plate formed from a different type of light metal.

In order to achieve the above objective, a metallic hollow golf club head of the present invention comprises a sole plate molded from a light metal and formed with a fitting hole, and a weight of a heavy metal press-fitted into the fitting hole and fixed solidly to the sole plate.

Furthermore, a metallic hollow golf club head of the present invention comprises a sole plate molded from a light metal and formed with a fitting hole, and a weighted structure comprising a weight of a heavy metal press-fitted into a ring-shaped spacer formed of the same light metal as the sole plate, said weighted structure being fitted into the fitting hole, and the ring-shaped spacer and the sole plate being welded together.

Furthermore, a metallic hollow golf club head of the present invention comprises a sole plate molded from a light metal and formed with a fitting hole, and a weighted structure comprising a weight of a heavy metal wrapped with a belt-shaped spacer formed of the same light metal as the sole plate, said weighted structure being fitted into the fitting hole, and the belt-shaped spacer and the sole plate being welded together.

Thus, the weight is press-fitted into the fitting hole provided on the sole plate of a light metal such as titanium and titanium alloy. When necessary, a through hole passing through the weight and the sole plate is provided for inserting and caulking a rivet. Alternatively, the weight structure comprising the weight press-fitted into the ring-shaped spacer or wrapped with the belt shaped spacer of the same light metal as the sole plate is fitted into the fitting hole of the sole plate, and the spacer and the sole plate are welded together. Consequently, the weight can be firmly secured to the sole plate and a low center of gravity and increased moment of inertia can be obtained in the main body of a light metallic head.

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial cross-sectional diagram depicting an iron type golf club head according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional diagram depicting an iron type golf club head according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 3(a) to 3(c) are diagrams explaining the processes when attaching a weight to a sole plate in the first embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an diagram depicting an enlarged cross-sectional view of another example of a weight attached to a sole plate in the first embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional diagram showing an iron type golf club head according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional diagram showing an iron type golf club head according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7(a) is a diagonal view of a ring-shaped spacer forming a weighted structure used in the third and fourth embodiments of the present invention; FIG. 7 (b) is a diagonal view of a belt-shaped spacer for similar use;

FIG. 8 is a diagonal view of a cylindrical weight forming a weighted structure in the third and fourth embodiments;

FIG. 9 is a diagonal view of a weighted structure in the third and fourth embodiments;

FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional diagram showing an iron type golf club head according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional diagram showing an iron type golf club head according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a partial enlarged view of the principal portion in FIG. 10;

FIGS. 13(a) and 13(b) are front and top views of a weight in the fifth and sixth embodiments;

FIGS. 14(a) and 14(b) are front and top views of a weighted structure using the weight shown in FIGS. 13 (a) and 13(b); and

FIG. 15 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a joined portion of a conventional weight.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 depicts an iron type golf club head according to a first embodiment of the present invention, in which a hollow club head 1 has a structure wherein a sole plate 2 is welded to the open portion 3 of an outer mold 1a. The outer mold 1a and the sole plate 2 are formed from a light metal of titanium or titanium alloy respectively.

A fitting hole 7 is provided on the inner surface 2a of the sole plate 2 and a weight 4 is press-fitted into this fitting hole 7. The lower part of the weight 4 has the same shape as the fitting hole 7 and is manufactured to the same dimensions as the fitting hole 7. The fitting hole 7 is for instance circular when viewed from above with a depth of 0.5 mm or more and smoothly countersunk at the bottom. The weight 4 comprises a heavy metal having a specific gravity of 10 or more; for instance, tungsten, tantalum, brass, copper, copper alloy, gold, platinum or the like can be used.

The weight 4 is secured to the sole plate 2 following the sequence of processes shown in FIG. 3(a) to FIG. 3(c). Firstly, a fitting hole 7 which is circular when viewed from above and has a bottom is constructed on the inner surface of the sole plate 2 and the lower portion of a cylindrical weight 4 is press-fitted into this fitting hole 7 as shown in FIG. 3(a). Next, a through hole 5 is created passing through both the sole plate 2 and the weight 4. Now a countersink 2b is created at the entrance side of the through hole 5. Next, a steel rivet 6 having ductility of for instance SUS304 is inserted through the through hole 5 as shown in FIG. 3(b). The rivet 6 is compressed in the direction of its axis causing the end portions of the rivet 6 to alter to the shapes depicted in FIG. 3 (c) and also causing the rivet 6 to expand in the direction of its diameter, thereby producing friction between the rivet 6 and the weight 4 and between the rivet 6 and the sole plate 2 which secures the weight 4 to the sole plate 2 more firmly.

If necessary, minute differences in the dimensions of the various components or minute misalignments generated therein during press-processing can be accommodated by for instance providing a washer ring 9 between the rivet head 6a and the countersink 6b on the outer surface of the sole plate 2 as shown in FIG. 4, said washer ring 9 comprising a metal softer than the metals of the rivet head 6a and the countersink 2b.

FIG. 2 depicts an iron golf club according to a second embodiment of the present invention. As the FIG. 2 shows, the weight 4 is secured into a fitting hole 7 created on the outer surface of the sole plate 2. Furthermore, the portion of the weight 4 (shown by a broken line) which protrudes from the outer surface of the sole plate 2 can be eliminated using polishing.

In each of the embodiments described so far, a weight 4 can be firmly secured to a sole plate 2 by press-fitting the weight 4 into a fitting hole 7 provided on a sole plate 2 comprising titanium or titanium alloy, inserting a rivet 6 into a through hole 5 which passes through both the sole plate 2 and the weight 4 and caulking the rivet 6 as required.

Since each of the embodiments uses press-fitting means, the dimensions of the weight 4 and the fitting hole 7 have to be precise. In order to simplify the mechanical manufacturing of these components the shape of the weight 4 and the fitting hole 7 when viewed from above may preferably be rectangular or more preferably circular.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show an iron golf club in third and fourth embodiments of the present invention. These embodiments use a weighted structure in which a ring-shaped spacer 8a or a belt-shaped spacer 8b formed from the same light metal as the sole plate 2 is provided around the rim of the heavy metal weight 4. As shown in FIG. 7(a), the ring-shaped spacer 8a has an inner diameter roughly equal to the outer diameter of the weight 4 enabling it to be press-fitted around the rim of the weight 4. As shown in FIG. 7(b), the belt-shaped spacer 8b is molded into a rectangular shape. A weighted structure in which the spacer 8a or 8b is mechanically joined to the rim of the weight 4 as shown in FIG. 9 is formed by press-fitting the weight 4 inside the ring-shaped spacer 8a or wrapping the belt-shaped spacer 8b around the rim of the weight 4 to form a ring.

In FIG. 5, this weighted structure is fitted into a fitting hole 7 with a bottom provided on the light metal sole plate 2, and the sole plate 2 is welded to the spacer 8a or 8b. Alternatively, in FIG. 6 the weighted structure is fitted into a fitting hole 7 forming a through hole provided on the sole plate 2, and both inner and outer surfaces of the sole plate 2 are welded to the spacer 8a or 8b.

According to the embodiments described above, the weight 4 can be firmly secured to the sole plate 2 by solidly fitting a spacer 8a or 8b comprising the same light metal as the sole plate 2 to the rim of the weight 4 to form a weighted structure and welding the spacer 8a or 8b to the sole plate 2.

The wall thickness of the spacer 8a or 8b may preferably be not less than 1 mm in order to prevent distortion due to welding heat when the spacer 8a or 8b is secured; the height of the spacer 8a or 8b may preferably be not smaller than 1/2 of the height of the weight 4 to ensure that the weight 4 is firmly secured by the frictional force of the spacer 8a or 8b and inertial force generated by for instance striking a ball when the structure is used as a golf club does not cause the weight 4 to fall out.

FIGS. 10 to 12 depict varied configurations of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, in which the weight 4 is more firmly joined to the belt-shaped spacer 8b and the securing of the weight 4 to the sole plate 2 is strengthened by means of press-fitting.

The weight 4 is more firmly joined to the belt-shaped spacer 8b by the following method. As shown in FIGS. 13(a) and 13(b), a small diameter portion 4a having an outer diameter which is smaller than the diameters of the top and bottom ends of a cylindrical weight 4 is provided to the middle portion of the weight 4 in the height direction thereof. The weighted structures depicted in FIGS. 14(a) and 14(b) are formed by bending a belt-shaped spacer 8b of the kind shown in FIG. 7(b) into a ring and welding both ends together around the rim of this small diameter portion 4a. Thus the small diameter portion 4a of the weight 4 holds the spacer 8b securely in place, thereby preventing the spacer 8b and the weight 4 from becoming misaligned.

In FIGS. 10 and 12, the lower portion of the weight 4 is press-fitted into a fitting hole 7 which forms a through hole passing through the sole plate 2, said sole plate 2 being welded to the spacer 8b. Alternatively, in FIG. 11 the lower portion of the weight 4 is press-fitted into a fitting hole 7 with a bottom which is provided on the inside of the sole plate 2, said sole plate 2 being welded to the spacer 8b.

In each of these embodiments, the weight 4 can be firmly secured to the sole plate 2 by press-fitting said weight 4 into a fitting hole 7 provided in the sole plate 2, providing a spacer 8b comprising the same light metal as the sole plate 2 to the rim of the weight 4 and welding together the spacer 8b and the sole plate 2.

As explained above, according to the present invention, when adding a weight to the main body of the head in order to lower the center of gravity, increase the moment of inertia or adjust the position of the center of gravity, the weight can be firmly secured with a simple operation while preventing generation of unpleasant sounds due to collision with a ball or the ground when the head is used as a golf club head.

While there have been described what are at present considered to be preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made thereto, and it is intended that the appended claims cover all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6162132 *May 17, 1999Dec 19, 2000Yonex Kabushiki KaishaGolf club head having hollow metal shell
US6203448 *Jan 11, 2000Mar 20, 2001The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.Metallic hollow golf club head
US6254494 *Jan 28, 1999Jul 3, 2001Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.Golf club head
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US6475101 *Jul 13, 2001Nov 5, 2002Bruce D. BurrowsMetal wood golf club head with faceplate insert
US6533679Apr 6, 2000Mar 18, 2003Acushnet CompanyHollow golf club
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US8708838Jun 4, 2012Apr 29, 2014Acushnet CompanyHollow golf club with high density weights
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/338, 473/345, 473/341
International ClassificationA63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/04, A63B2053/0433, A63B2053/0491
European ClassificationA63B53/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 2, 2007FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20070810
Aug 10, 2007LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Feb 28, 2007REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Jan 16, 2003FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Sep 16, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: YOKOHAMA RUBBER CO., LTD., THE, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YAMAMOTO, SHINJI;REEL/FRAME:008805/0594
Effective date: 19970903